An author is appealing for help to write a book on the history of horse racing in Jersey – and hopes that the sport’s current financial crisis won’t be the end of the story.
Graham Sharpe has written a number of horseracing books, including The Magnificent Seven, about the day Frankie Dettori almost bankrupted bookies by riding every winner on the card at Ascot in 1996.
Mr Sharpe has been a regular visitor to Jersey since the early 80s and contacted Express after reading about the Jersey Race Club’s severe financial difficulties, which could bring to an end more than 180 years of history if £100,000 isn’t raised this year.
“I have been attending race meetings at Les Landes for the best part of 40 years and was due to attend this year's ultimately cancelled Jersey Derby with a group of 17 racing enthusiasts,” he said.
“I was shocked to read of the financial problems which may cause racing to cease there but I obviously hope that the money is found."
Pictured: Racing author and frequent visitor to Jersey, Graham Sharpe.
He continued: “The closure of the club would leave a yawning gap, not only in Jersey but in the wider horse racing community.
"I’ve been to a lot of courses and few are as scenic as Les Landes. You also have a couple of centuries of fascinating history, which I’m keen to record.
“Obviously, the whole sport is suffering this year and I’d like to think Jersey can come together to find the money.”
Thank you so much all those that have donated; we’ve raised over £15,000 so far! We are so grateful to everyone that has sent money, through membership packages, donations & on the crowdfunding page. The future for racing in Jersey is looking good ???????????? https://t.co/DBU6Fs3Crv— Jersey Race Club (@jerseyraceclub) August 12, 2020
Pictured: The Jersey Race Club has launched a fundraising appeal after its whole 2020 season was cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.
Mr Sharpe is asking for anyone with anecdotes, facts and stories to get in touch with him.
“As far as I am aware no one has yet chronicled the Sport of Kings’ involvement with the island and I believe such a book is long overdue,” he said.
However, the author already has one chapter in mind: St Saviour-born Lillie Langtry, who became a well-known actress and socialite in late Victorian times, was a successful racehorse owner under the pseudonym “Mr Jersey”, as women were not allowed to register horses at the time.
Pictured: Jersey-born actress Lillie Langtry (née Le Breton) was a successful race horse owner.
The Lillie Langtry Stakes remains one of the highlights on the card at Glorious Goodwood.
Anyone able to help Mr Sharpe can email him at email@example.com or write to him at 10 The Lawns, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4BJ.
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